Press Release: Escape from the Land of Snows by Stephan Talty


Contact: Sarah Breivogel; 212-572-2722









“Riveting…Talty’s portrait of the young Dalai Lama is nuanced and compelling…thriller ready.”
Booklist, starred review


“Riveting, informed . . . a great read.” —Kirkus Reviews 


“Skillful . . . Talty has woven a vivid picture of a dangerous journey and a country in crisis.”
Publishers Weekly

“Moving . . . well worth reading.” —Library Journal 

“It was perhaps history’s most momentous escape: the Dalai Lama fleeing over the roof of the world from Mao’s advancing troops. I loved losing myself in Escape from the Land of Snows and you will too.”
James Bradley, New York Times bestselling author of Flags of Our Fathers, Flyboys,
and The Imperial Cruise

Escape from the Land of Snows reads like a great adventure yarn. . . . This wonderfully rich narrative should be required reading for anyone who cares about Tibet, the Dalai Lama, or the power of spiritual integrity.”
Greg Mortensen, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Three Cups of Tea and the
New York Times bestseller Stones into Schools



“An amazing behind-the-scenes account that reads like a bound-for-the-big-screen thriller. Talty vividly captures the Tibet I know and have immense respect for—including its harsh beauty, epic terrain, and fiercely resilient people. . . . Talty shows in the most compulsively readable way how a champion for peace came by his warrior instincts.” —Ed Viesturs, seven-time climber of Mt. Everest and author of No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World’s Highest Peaks

“Loaded with hard, vivid detail and marked by a wonderful cast of characters.  . . . Few people know the facts of the Dalai Lama’s escape from Chinese-occupied Tibet. That will change with this marvelous book.”
—Jean Sasson, New York Times bestselling author of Princess and Growing Up Bin Laden


From acclaimed journalist Stephan Talty comes the little-known but surprisingly resonant and inspiring story of the Dalai Lama’s harrowing escape from Tibet to liberty and fame in the West

In the early weeks of 1959, a bloody uprising gripped the streets of Lhasa as Tibetan rebels faced off against their Communist Chinese occupiers. Realizing that the impending battle would result in a bloodbath and his own capture, the young Dalai Lama, then only twenty-three years old, began planning an audacious escape to India, a treacherous two-week journey that would involve a near-death experience, dangerous crossings over Himalayan passes, and the struggle to evade thousands of Chinese soldiers who hunted for his head.  The journey would transform this callow young man into one of the world’s greatest statesmen.

In ESCAPE FROM THE LAND OF SNOWS: The Young Dalai Lama’s Harrowing Flight to Freedom and the Making of a Spiritual Hero (Crown, January 18, 2011), New York Times bestselling author Stephan Talty brings us an inspiring look at the Dalai Lama’s dangerous escape from Tibet. For journalists, the escape quickly became the story of the century and a career-altering opportunity, much like the race for the South Pole and the conquest of Everest. The story was soon making international headlines—Tibet was becoming famous just as it ceased to exist.

Virtually nothing has been written about the Dalai Lama’s journey to date; a memoir the exiled leader wrote years ago only devotes five pages to the tale. But the journey the book documents is more than just a physical one.  In ESCAPE FROM THE LAND OF SNOWS, readers meet the Dalai Lama as he was fifty years ago—a sheltered, naive young scholar—and witness his unlikely transformation into a world-class diplomat and strategist, a David who must outwit Goliath so his people might survive.

As part of the research for his book, Talty visited Tibet in March 2009 for the fiftieth anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s escape.  Due to heavy Chinese surveillance and a prohibition against visiting journalists, Talty posed as a businessman to gain entry into the country (consequently, he was one of the only journalists in Lhasa at the time). In an interview, Stephan Talty can discuss:

*     The truth about the CIA’s much-debated involvement in the Dalai Lama’s escape

*     Details about the Tibetan process of choosing a Dalai Lama

*     New revelations from survivors of the uprising and escape who have never before been interviewed

*     The ancient Chinese attitudes that underlie the crisis in Tibet—the belief that non-Han minorities are backward and in need of Chinese supervision

*     Why Tibet erupts into violence and protests around the anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s escape

*     What will likely happen when the Dalai Lama dies, and how this will affect the Tibetan freedom movement

An inspiring tale filled with drama and adventure, ESCAPE FROM THE LAND OF SNOWS offers the first intimate look at the crucible that created the Dalai Lama the world knows today—a deeply compassionate man who is simultaneously a beacon of hope for a conquered nation and a spiritual inspiration to millions.


About the Author
STEPHAN TALTY is a widely published journalist who has contributed to the New York Times Magazine, GQ, Men’s Journal, Time Out New York, Details, and many other publications. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Empire of Blue Water, The Illustrious Dead, and Mulatto America: At the Crossroads of Black and White Culture.


The Young Dalai Lama’s Harrowing Flight to Freedom and the Making of a Spiritual Hero

By Stephan Talty

Crown * January 18, 2011 * Pages: 320 * Price: $26.00 hardcover * 978-0-307-46095-0



Also available as an eBook (on sale December 28, 2010) and as a Random House audiobook.

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The Crown Publishing Group